In early October, English and Women’s Studies professor Christina Crosby was thrown from her bicycle while riding near Lyman Orchards in Middlefield. She sustained an injury to her spinal cord that resulted in paralysis of her legs and partial loss of movement in her hands. Over the past seven months, Crosby has been working diligently toward recovery in hopes of rejoining the faculty in the near future, but has had to cope with the hardships that have resulted from her injury.
“It will be months, maybe even a year before I know the functions I will recover,” Crosby said. “Right now I’m working to recover my strength the best I can. That involves therapy that helps me with physical strength and mobility.”
Though she is still on the long road to recovery, attending daily physical therapy sessions and learning how to live in her new circumstances, she is hoping to return to Wesleyan as soon as possible.
“I do plan to return to teaching,” she said. “It will be a while though. The Fall of 2005 is what I’m anticipating. I’m surely hoping. The hope of returning to teaching is one of the things that helps me through some of my more difficult therapies.”
The other English faculty members are eagerly anticipating her return.
“Every time I see her I’m impressed with the progress she’s making. We’re hoping that she’ll be back as soon as she can,” said Professor William Stowe, chair of the English department. “We have made special accommodations for her in Downey House, where the English Department will be moving. It will be completely accessible for her. And we have made a specially designed office so she can fully participate. ”
She also says the support of the Wesleyan community has been invaluable.
“The support from my colleagues is one of the things that have literally enabled me to keep on going,” she said. “I have had so many expressions of support through e-mail. Those expressions of support have been very helpful to me. There have also been more material kinds of support. Many people have delivered food, which has been so helpful to us as we’ve gone through these hard times. I’ve also gotten expressions of support and statements of gratitude from students, which has also meant a great deal to me. It’s nice to know that the work I do is appreciated.”
Crosby was not only a teacher in two departments but serving as chair of the faculty at the time of her injury. She is a recipient of the Binswanger Prize for excellence in teaching in 1994. Students and faculty are eagerly anticipating her return to campus.